More Free Scripts

Thanks to the arrival of Chemist Warehouse in the New Zealand market, more pharmacies are feeling compelled to offer free prescriptions, reports Stuff. 

The owner of the nearby Balmoral Pharmacy, Nikil Lal, says he has also started to offer the free scripts, by removing the NZ$5 subsidised prescription charge. “We have an older migrant customer base. While those coming in for prescriptions don’t usually buy other things, the promotion has significantly increased foot traffic,” Mr Lal said.  

“At the end of the day if you’re not sensible with pricing you’ll be quickly out of step with the market and you’ll lose customers.” He said that the decision had not been easy, and was in recognition that his customers were price-sensitive. To offer the free scripts, it was vital he maintain a sustainable business model, he said.

Stuff also spoke to Warren Flaunty, who had spent more than 50 years in pharmacy and was now retiring, and who said the sector’s future did not look good. “Pharmacies could lose millions in turnover if they copied the Chemist Warehouse’s free prescription model,” Mr Flaunty said. “It would especially be a big hit for small businesses. Some that do it may fall by the wayside.”

Source:, viewed 2 August 2018